Looking back on 40 years of Mountain Scene
1985 A Commonage section on Queenstown Hill reaches a record $100,000 at auction. A real estate agent estimates this will put $20,000 on the price of every section in the Wakatipu. A 30-section Fernhill subdivision sells out within a day. Forty sections at Frankton also sell like hot cakes.
1988 Prime Minister David Lange unveils a plaque to open the THC Queenstown Hotel. Lange alludes to the crisis with his Finance Minister, quipping that the hotel had a spare room “should Roger Douglas turn up”.
1991 Queenstown’s Skyline Enterprises gondola carries its four millionth paying passenger. The attraction is now in its 25th year of operation.
1996 Arrowtown is still starved of TV3 reception a year after the channel started beaming into Queenstown. TV3 accuses the Department of Conservation of demanding exorbitant rent for a translator site on Feehly Hill.
2000 The council is criticised for adding ‘Queenstown – The Adventure Capital of the World’ to its letterhead. “Is it providing the right message to communicate the total package Queenstown can offer?” asks Destination Queenstown chairman Mark Quickfall. Commerce Queenstown chief executive Clive Geddes believes it’s “most inappropriate” for the council to have a slogan at all.
2005 Long-serving Queenstown detective Travis Hughes and Bay of Plenty pilot Chris Scott are killed in a cannabis-spotting plane in the Gibbston valley. The plane slams into a tussock-covered hillside on a still hot day.